(2) DISCOVERY: WE FIND OUT WHAT EVIDENCE THE PROSECUTOR HAS IN YOUR CASE.
Your case will now enter the discovery phase. Attorney Douglas Riddell will likely then ask the prosecutor for all of the evidence his or her office has against you. The Columbus or municipal (if transferred from an Ohio mayor’s court) prosecutor’s office is required to give us everything they have–including any evidence showing that you were not impaired.
(3) OUR ATTORNEYS BEGIN EVALUATING THE EVIDENCE
Now is when having a Columbus DUI attorney is really important. For our clients, in this phase, we start digging into the evidence the Columbus City Prosecutor has provided, as well as talking to witnesses in our own investigation. The police report, the cruiser video, witness statements, results from the breathalyzer or urine test could all have possible weaknesses that we could exploit.
Here is where we identify all possible defenses and start really building your case.
(4) PRETRIAL CONFERENCE
The pretrial is chance to meet with the judge and the prosecutor to discuss the status of the case and any pending issues. For example, we might discuss whether all discovery, videos, and other evidence have been handed over. Also, we may discuss pending motions (see below), continue negotiations with the Columbus or municipal prosecutor, and address our client’s eligibility for driving privileges (if this was not already covered at the arraignment).
(5) OUR DUI ATTORNEYS FILE AND ARGUE MOTIONS
Once we identify weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, we may need to file a motion to suppress or other motion to the judge or magistrate to argue that the results of the breathalyzer or other sobriety test should be excluded at trial. Whether and how motion practice will be used in your case will depend on the details of your arrest. Motion practice can be quite effective in helping to bring along negotiations with the prosecutor’s office.
(6) NEGOTIATION WITH THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
At this stage, Attorney Douglas Riddell will take our arguments to the prosecutor and explain why their office should dismiss or reduce the charges given the flaws in their case. Depending on the evidence, the prosecutor will sometimes agree to dismiss or reduce the charges. Other times, the prosecutor will refuse to budge and that brings us to our final step.
If the case cannot be resolved by negotiation, it will proceed to trial. In the Franklin County Municipal Court, you can have your case heard to the judge or to a jury of eight. The prosecutor must prove you were impaired beyond a reasonable doubt and all eight jurors must agree on your guilt.
Attorney Doug Riddell regularly represents clients facing DUI charges in Franklin County, Ohio. In Ohio, a DUI charge is called an “OVI” – meaning “operating a vehicle under the influence.”